Brown best of the rest in Geneva X-Trial
The second round of the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championships was held in the swiss city of Geneva on Saturday night. Scarborough rider Michael Brown (Gas Gas) did battle against wild-card British rider Jack Challoner (Beta) in an against the clock duel for seventh place.
Held in front of a full Palexpo Arena it was Spanish sensation Toni Bou (Montesa) who topped the leader-board ahead of fellow countryman Albert Cabestany (Sherco) with Japanese rider Takahisha Fujinami (Honda) concluding the final step of the rostrum on the night.
Michael Brown who finished 6th in the 2011 FIM Outdoor World Championships is a fixed rider in the 2012 FIM X-Trial Championships and made a good attempt to make the final in the qualification round which took place behind closed doors earlier on in the day.
Michael started the trial strong but lost his front wheel on the difficult step which made the final part of the opening section. He rode the log section without fault but again came in trouble against the huge triple step which made up the start of the third section. Talking about the proceedings Michael commented. "I didn't feel too disappointed having dropped maximum marks on the opening and third sections as they were incredibly difficult, but I wasn't happy when I couldn't get through the Tag Heuer section as it was a technical hazard which is usually my strongest area"
A single dab on the final boulder section meant both Brown and fellow British rider Challoner would finish qualification on 16 marks ahead of Spanish rider Alfredo Gomez (Montesa) and wild-card rider Beniot Dagnicourt (FRA - Beta) who failed to match the British pair.
Michael and Jack were to go against the clock to see who could complete the difficult boulder section in the quickest time. It was Challoner's error which relieved the pressure for the KX energy endorsed rider. "Even when I saw that Jack was going to ride the section first it didn't help, I knew he was quick and knew that I would need to be really on top of my game to be quicker. But when Jack had his crash at the end of the section I just focused on getting through on a clean - which I did".
Talking about Michael's start to the season, team manager John Shirt, "I think the word to best describe Michaels start to the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship this year is 'frustrating and not disappointing’. With only 5 sections ridden in the qualifying heats a small mistake has big consequences and he has made a mistake in both rounds so far which has forced him not to qualify. Michael remains optimistic because although he is not happy with the end result, he is training well in Spain and he is happy with his level of riding"
Michael concluded the night by saying, "Tonight hasn't been the best, of course I would have loved to ride in the semi-final, and I want to be doing that for the remaining rounds. I'm not disheartened by tonight's ride, but I'm eager to break into the Top 5, hopefully something I can do in Marseille next weekend"